Comcast Labs (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is getting together with startup accelerator Boomtown to build what they are calling one of the world's first Internet of Things (IoT) labs.
"Comcast Labs, like many other companies, sees the tremendous potential of the IoT, and we're very pleased to partner with Boomtown to underwrite the development and launch of the lab," Joshua Seiden, executive director of Comcast Labs, said in a press release.
The lab will be located in Boulder, Colo., where it will serve entrepreneurs, Boomtown startups and companies and corporations seeking to develop products and services for the IoT. Users will be able to access the latest hardware and software in the market, explore interactivity and communicate across "virtually every major traditional and mobile operating platform," the companies said.
Boomtown operates two 12-week sessions per year and aims to discover and support promising Internet, mobile, software and IoT startups, primarily in the media, design, marketing and ad tech sectors.
Comcast says it has the network and scale to bring the IoT to more people. Investments like this will "help advance development of the next generation of innovations that will be seamlessly integrated into customers' offices and homes to make their lives better with technology," the release states.
Comcast joins the big telcos in backing the IoT. AT&T (NYSE: T) operates innovation centers in Plano, Texas, and Atlanta dedicated to M2M and IoT. Last year, Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) entered into a multiyear research partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology, with the objective of fostering development of new technology solutions for the IoT.
According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, 61 percent of executives surveyed agree companies that are slow to integrate the IoT will fall behind the competition. Nearly all respondents (96 percent) expect their business to be using the IoT in some respect by 2016. Gartner predicts the IoT will have an economic impact of as much as $1.9 trillion by 2020.
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